This topic is for paid for discussions. Please mail us at insight@mumsnet.com if you'd like to know more about how they work.

NOW CLOSED: To DS or not to DS: Children and Gadgets in School Hols: Wii or Non? Talk to E.ON - you could win a £50 voucher

(98 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 11-Jul-12 10:11:13

We've been asked by E.ON - the energy provider, to find out your views on your child(ren) using gadgets (or not using them!) during the summer holidays.

By gadgets we are talking about games on a handheld device, like a Nintendo DS, apps on a tablet (like iPad), games or apps on your phone, on the computer/ laptop or on the Wii or Xbox.

For example....

Does your child have a set limit on gadget time a day / a week? Why is this? How long? Does this work for you and them?
What tips would you share with other parents about how to handle gadget use with children? How do you generally view use of these gadgets? What do you think are the benefits - to parents and to children? And what do you think are the disadvantages? (to parents and children)
If your child doesn't use a gadget like this please say why - it is down to you or them?
What sort of games or apps does your child play with? Do they play with other children? If so, do they socialise when on it?
Does the game ever become reality? For example - do they act out the game in real life? Do they/ you integrate the game characters into other activities eg making an Angry Birds cake or playing Skylanders in the park?


Everyone who adds a tip or story on this thread will be entered into a prize draw to win a £50 voucher for Capital Bonds - which can be spent in over 160 retailers.

Please note your tips and stories may be used by E.ON in a media release - your MN name will not be used.

thanks, MNHQ

Blu Thu 12-Jul-12 16:19:52

Does your child have a set limit on gadget time a day / a week? Why is this? How long? Does this work for you and them?
No, not really. He isn't obsessed, and will do something else when asked. Does plenty of other things, too - it isn't an issue
What tips would you share with other parents about how to handle gadget use with children? How do you generally view use of these gadgets? What do you think are the benefits - to parents and to children? And what do you think are the disadvantages? (to parents and children)
They are part of the modern world, but if you the parent treat gadgets like the holy oracle and coo over your iPhone and spend all day on the laptop (in full view of child) then they may have the same view. Use gadgets for fun, and to be useful, and beyond that , don't make a bid deal.
If your child doesn't use a gadget like this please say why - it is down to you or them?
He has no phone, he doesn't need one
What sort of games or apps does your child play with? Do they play with other children? If so, do they socialise when on it?
A small number of free games on the iPad. Plays on the PS3 with friends.
Does the game ever become reality? For example - do they act out the game in real life? Do they/ you integrate the game characters into other activities eg making an Angry Birds cake or playing Skylanders in the park?
No, never that I know of.

My DS and his friend spent half a day at the beach digging holes having listened to the Louios Sacher book HOLES on CD in the car, in role as opressed juvenile detention centre detainees...really into it - but they don't live PS3 games or apps in the same way at all. They treat the games as a skill / competition, not an imaginative narrative.
But then maybe a CD in the car counts as a gadget!
I would like to be able to downoad more audio books onto DS's iPod for journeys, and we will be downloading a French Language Learning app on to the iPad for use on his extended family visit to a French speaking country.

I think there could be more opportunities for using apps and gadgets for making the most of the educational and fun potential in holiday destinations.

glitch Thu 12-Jul-12 17:10:47

My DS plays on the Wii and playstation and also has a Leapster Explorer. I don't tend to set time limits but it he doesn't tend to play too often.

The Leapster Explorer is fab for when we go out so he can sit quietly and play and I like the fact that it is geared for younger children (he is 6). I'm sure we will progress to a DS but I'm saving that until he is ready to move on from his Leapster.

I don't tend to let him use my phone as he ends up changing settings or locking me out of it.

I'm thinking that the Leapster Explorer will be essential for our camping holiday this year if this weather doesn't brighten up soon!!

bestbefore Thu 12-Jul-12 18:32:50

Mine (aged 9 and 6) love the iPad and my DS age 6 loves the Wii - he is obsessed with Skylanders and him and his little friends play it all the time (in the playground). They chat about the characters and I've been trying to get them to design their own one. It makes it fun away from the screen. I do think it's helped with their creative play.

I also am not keen on them using my phone so I don't have very interesting apps on it! But on a long journey or when waiting for someone it's so useful.

I think this summer I'll let them have some time each day on the wii or whatever - they need a break from school and we get out and about all the time to the woods or on a walk with the dog so it's a good balance.

CaptainBanana Thu 12-Jul-12 19:03:03

I often find if I've said DS can have X amount of time on the ipad or wii on a day it's best if I can be very specific about when it's going to be to save all the "can I play now?" questions. Alternatively get it out of the way early, then he know's he's had his go for the day and won't be getting any more and it saves all the "can I play now?" questions.

I certainly don't mind him playing on gadgets as they have plenty of outdoor/social/ things.

Hulababy Thu 12-Jul-12 20:08:33

DD is 10y and has several gadgets - own computer, a DS, an iTouch and access to a Playstation 3, my iPad, and my iPhone. She is getting a Kindle in a couple of weeks too - she's saved up to get it just before her holiday.

We don't really have any rules regarding time, etc. Not needed to as she doesn't get obsessed with them and would never play with them for hours at a time anyway.

She uses her computer to use things like Movie Maker and makes big presentations on Powerpoint. She likes to use Publisher too. She also uses simple photo editing stuff. DD also uses her school "xxx Apps" esp for chatting and also emailing friends. She goes on Moshi Monsters although this has tailed off loads and it is quite unusual these days. She'll do things like animations using her camera and movie maker.

On the iTouch she uses Bump to chat to friends, or email. She has apps on them too but doesn't play games much really bar the odd 5 minutes. She loves to listen to music on it and does so all the time - she has a CD player with dock, and an amplifier and microphone with dock so sings along. She likes games like Draw Some. iTouch used a lot when travelling by plane though as small enough to take easily.

She uses my iPad but mainly to watch films.

Her DS is used only occasionally these days. She used it a bit more when younger.

Playstation also not used very much but when it is used she plays games like Sing Star.

Did the title just change for this thread?

babyheaves Fri 13-Jul-12 09:22:49

My child has the attention span of a rather confused gnat, so I don't need to put limits on his game playing as he self-regulates.

To be honest I am grateful when he asks to play either on his DS (rarely) or on the games console as I know it means at least 5 minutes of peace before boredom (or frustrated screaming) kicks in and it gets turned off again.

The games consoles are not for communal gaming, although my 2yo likes to hold a controller and "play" the game. We often play together like this - she sits on a rocking horse, and I knacker my back by sitting on the floor. I tell her when to press the button, when her controller is not actually plugged in and its me playing it - there's another 10 mins of peace.

As for the effect that this has in real life, well its not much to be honest. We have a legacy games console with a Samuri game and a fishing game on it, which are DS's favourite. The outcome of these two games are that he now knows what Sushi is and he also once spent about 15 minutes running around the garden pretending to be a fish in Feeding Frenzy. Hard core eh?

choccyp1g Fri 13-Jul-12 09:36:39

Does your child have a set limit on gadget time a day / a week? Why is this? How long? Does this work for you and them? No limit, but it gets banned completely for bad behaviour
What tips would you share with other parents about how to handle gadget use with children? How do you generally view use of these gadgets? What do you think are the benefits - to parents and to children? And what do you think are the disadvantages? (to parents and children) * MY tip is to hold out without them for as long as possible. There are no advantages, and the disadvantages are they get addicted*
If your child doesn't use a gadget like this please say why - it is down to you or them? I wish
What sort of games or apps does your child play with? Do they play with other children? If so, do they socialise when on it? He uses X-box to play online with friends
Does the game ever become reality? For example - do they act out the game in real life? Do they/ you integrate the game characters into other activities eg making an Angry Birds cake or playing Skylanders in the park? I have never observed him or any of his friends playing fantasy games at all; it's either football or chase games, or the electronic ones

ShatnersBassoon Fri 13-Jul-12 09:39:59

Does your child have a set limit on gadget time a day / a week? Why is this? How long? Does this work for you and them?

They're allowed to play video games only on Friday after school and one day at the weekend, and only for a limited time of roughly a couple of hours, depending on what's going on in the house and how well they're behaving (no squabbling or everything gets turned off). It works for us, they understand if they kick up a fuss about the rules then they don't get to play at all.

What tips would you share with other parents about how to handle gadget use with children? How do you generally view use of these gadgets? What do you think are the benefits - to parents and to children? And what do you think are the disadvantages? (to parents and children)

I have no tips. I'm not a massive fan of gaming, but I played video games when I was a child and absolutely loved them, so I understand why they're so appealing to children.

I'm not sure there are any benefits to children, although people will always quote the hand-eye coordination thing. It's relaxing escapism, and we have sometimes given our eldest the DS to play when he's getting himself het up about something such as tests at school.

For us as parents, the advantages: some peace and quiet on long car journeys; peace and quiet when we're somewhere where we know there'll be a lot of waiting around; peace and quiet when we need to get something done at home and don't want to be interrupted eg DIY. In other words, games are excellent for keeping the kids quiet and less bothersome. How awful blush

The disadvantages are that it can lead to disagreement when we have to tell them to turn off the consoles, they squabble amongst themselves over who plays what and when, and they do zone out into their own world when they're playing which may not be healthy.

What sort of games or apps does your child play with? Do they play with other children? If so, do they socialise when on it?

We have a Wii, which they always play together on, and their friends love to play on it when they're here. They really like the sports games with multiple players like bowling.

Does the game ever become reality? For example - do they act out the game in real life? Do they/ you integrate the game characters into other activities eg making an Angry Birds cake or playing Skylanders in the park?

I don't think so. They don't seem to think about the games as soon as the console is turned off.

Frontpaw Fri 13-Jul-12 09:49:45

Gadgets are a part of life! Kids are so techy these days!

DS has a... DS actually. When he first got it we agreed a certain amount of time per week that he could play with it. If he was naughty, time would be taken off the total. I think he had 90 mins a week and we emphasised that it was just one of the things he could play with - so encouraged him to play with his Lego, read, draw... Kids can get quite agitated playing these games, so it's best to keep it to a short period- nothing worse than an agitated, sweaty child who is supposedly having fun!

He plays on the iPad - chess, mah jong and backgammon he loves, also angry birds. Mainly games he can play on there by himself, or against the machine as he hasn't got siblings to play games like this with.

He has an Xbox and enjoys the sports games. He loves to have friends round so they can do the adventure or sports games.

Games don't become reality - he loves his angry birds t shirts (m&s everyone!), and likes playing the games in real life - board games and sports.

NoComet Fri 13-Jul-12 10:28:23

Hell will freeze over before DD2 stops watching CBBC, iPlayer or playing SIMs.

No doubt I will tell her to stop at frequent intervals and my efforts will last 30 sec.

DD1 (14) will read, draw and do a bit of the above, but it's her 11 sister who is the total screen addict.

Now if it would stop raining they would cycle, trampoline and swim but that seems about as likely as and entire squadron of flying pigs being sighted over the Olympic Stadium.

We are a very non - tech household and dd (8) isn't interested. I worry that she will be behind everyone else and miss opportunities to socialise/learn as she wont know what to do.

We have a TV, DVD player, computer, laptop, tablet and two android mobile phones. She hasn't wanted a Wii or Ds and none of us really know what else we could/should have. I mainly listen to the radio, dd listens to story CDs and watches TV. She does occasionally enjoy playing Angry Birds and Heaven and Hell... She likes Moshi Monsters/Club Penguin too.

I don't even know the difference between an iPod and an iPod touchblush I do wonder if there are any workshop type classes for out of touch parents to get up to speed???

nickschick Fri 13-Jul-12 10:46:46

Does your child have a set limit on gadget time a day / a week? Why is this?

No they dont have set times,their leisure time is just that -their choice.

How long? Does this work for you and them?

Generally I encourage them to take the dog for a walk if i can get ds1&2 actually out of bed grin come shopping with me go out somewhere....usually I have to appeal to their soft side sometimes by crying about my loneliness wink my spondylitis from carrying heavy shopping or even resort to bribery usually involving me/photos and facebook grin.

What tips would you share with other parents about how to handle gadget use with children?

Dont make an issue of it....the more you do the bigger the issue becomes encourage other friends with ds's to link up,encourage 2 player games or involve everyone in multi player games like songstar etc etc

How do you generally view use of these gadgets? What do you think are the benefits - to parents and to children? And what do you think are the disadvantages? (to parents and children)

I think they are like modern day roller skates and barbies and used safely are a welcome addition to modern life - its not to say they need never go to the park or a bug hunt but things change and technology is a part of that change.

If your child doesn't use a gadget like this please say why - it is down to you or them?
What sort of games or apps does your child play with? Do they play with other children? If so, do they socialise when on it?

We have x box,ps2,ds etc etc and laptop ds plays on minecraft club penguin a harry potter game and draw me on my android phone ...he sometimes plays alone sometimes with me and sometimes with others its a varied rich mix .....should he become a bit virtual he is usually ridiculed and dragged out of the house by ds1.......

Does the game ever become reality? For example - do they act out the game in real life? Do they/ you integrate the game characters into other activities eg making an Angry Birds cake or playing Skylanders in the park?

Not by option as a nursery nurse I will say oh would you like to wear your sonic t shirt youve been playing it today and he will say mum im 11 its not normal ....ds1 says the same but hey hes 18 grin I do make cup cakes and ask for help with decorating etc etc ...ds3 will make lego models of stuff 'Iam not to tamper with' and he has some mouldy papier mache thing going on to do with minecraft .....he also has a crystal bauble thing that hes improvised as a harry potter snitch?? (he doesnt know i know that though wink as hes 11 and its not cool)

Ds (6) has various gadgets - a ds, a ps2 and a wii. He also uses our laptop for the cbbc website and build a bear.

I don't feel the need to limit his access as it tends to occur naturally. He likes doing other things too such as playing football in the garden or lego.

He does sometimes play his ds with his friend, they like to link up on Nintendogs to swap items. The wii can be sociable too. I do hear his friends wanting to play Mariokart etc in the playground, not exactly sure what this entails!

Ds (6) has various gadgets - a ds, a ps2 and a wii. He also uses our laptop for the cbbc website and build a bear.

I don't feel the need to limit his access as it tends to occur naturally. He likes doing other things too such as playing football in the garden or lego.

He does sometimes play his ds with his friend, they like to link up on Nintendogs to swap items. The wii can be sociable too. I do hear his friends wanting to play Mariokart etc in the playground, not exactly sure what this entails!

elizaco Fri 13-Jul-12 11:34:37

My daughters (10 and 8) each have a DS, but to be honest play on them once or twice a week at the most. They tend to get a new game each birthday and Christmas, so always play on them more at those times. We find them great for car journeys etc.. when they help keep them occupied. We also have a Wii, which we love playing on as a family, and is great for when the girls have friends to play. Again, they don't use it too much, so we've never had a need to restrict the amount of time spent on it.

Fillybuster Fri 13-Jul-12 11:45:22

We are fairly 'gadget-lite', possibly because dh and I spend most of our work lives plugged into our laptops and blackberries, but also because we believe that the dcs benefit more from imaginative play with each other than from engaging with electronic devices.

We have an xbox (thanks to MN smile ) but the dcs never ask to use it - we tend to suggest it if the weather has been really poor (the whole summer so far....), especially if we have a bunch of over-energetic children visiting! They get quite frustrated doing any of the harder games/adventures on it, so tend to lose interest very quickly anyway.

The only gadgets our dcs play with regularly are their V-tech cameras, which they use both as cameras (and to make short films on) and also to play the inbuilt games. They do this together with their friends, and on their own.

They are not allowed near either of our laptops except for supervised homework because we are mean parents smile

Does your child have a set limit on gadget time a day / a week? Why is this? How long? Does this work for you and them?
No set limit. Mainly because I tend to let them play on ds/wii as part of a day at home, so I'll mix it in with other things. e.g. let dd2 play on ds while I do some reading with dd1 and vice versa. I think this works well for us.

What tips would you share with other parents about how to handle gadget use with children? How do you generally view use of these gadgets? What do you think are the benefits - to parents and to children? And what do you think are the disadvantages? (to parents and children)
I think they are good in moderation. For us, it allows me to have a bit of one-to-one time with each of the dc during the holidays, which benefits all of us. We also play on the wii as a family sometimes and like to play the more active games.

If your child doesn't use a gadget like this please say why - it is down to you or them?
n/a

What sort of games or apps does your child play with? Do they play with other children? If so, do they socialise when on it?
They have a drawing game on the ds which also has a few simple games on. The drawing one is aimed at children and has helped dd1 with pen control. It also has a sketchboard type option which she sometimes used for writing letters as well as general drawing. On the wii, they like Mario Kart and dancing games. They play on the dancing games with friends sometimes, pretending they're having a bit of a party. I don't tend to let them play unsociable games when they have friends over but I'd put something like Mario Kart on and get them to take turns if they wanted to do something sitting down for a while.

Does the game ever become reality? For example - do they act out the game in real life? Do they/ you integrate the game characters into other activities eg making an Angry Birds cake or playing Skylanders in the park?
No, they occasionally point at stuff in shops and say "That's Mario" etc.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 13-Jul-12 12:14:01

InMySpareTime yes wink

That's alright then, I thought I'd gone a bit batty and forgotten which threads I was ongrin

mumnosbest Fri 13-Jul-12 12:35:20

In our house (apart from the tv) we have a pc, wii, 2 ds and 1 xbox. Ds 7yrs plays on these when he needs a bit of quiet time after playing out ( when hes not readimg harry potter). he plays on the consoles and goes online to find things he 'plays' at school on the pc. These are usually learning games. I have little need to limit his time on here as he does so himself. Dd 4yrs is just discovering the computer. We all use skype as a family to keep in touch with relatives abroad. i dont know what i'd do without these in the school hols as they do give me a bit of time to get tea ready etc.

My tip would be to give older children 7+ an email address. ds emails his friends (supervised). this has really improved his writing. he was reluctant to practise writing at home but doesnt see typing as work. i insist on correct spellings and grammar.

the onl concerns i have are about dh monopolising the tv, xbox and pc ffor hours sad

zipzap Fri 13-Jul-12 13:37:35

I have 2 DS - aged 7 & 4 - to set my answers in context...

Does your child have a set limit on gadget time a day / a week? Why is this? How long? Does this work for you and them?
Nothing set out - although depending on the time of day and what other plans we have depends on how long they are able to play on something. On a wet holiday day with few plans they would be able to play on the Wii for longer than they could on a school day for example. I do try to tell them at the start if time is going to be limited and then give warnings in the run up to 'time to stop playing - NOW' so it doesn't come as a surprise which works well.
DS2 has a mobigo which he adores and will quite happily sit down and play for hours sometimes if nobody stops him. They also share a storio and leapfrog explorer and both boys will happily play on these on car journeys or at home. DS1 in particular I try to encourage to play on some games as they are for spelling which he is particularly bad at. Others include maths games which he loves because he loves maths and that's good too - I'm happy that he associates learning with fun and games, and being enjoyable.
Sometimes some of the biggest problems come about when there are two children who both want to play on the same gadget at the same time - kitchen timer comes out and they get 5/10 minutes each and then a strictly enforced handover, regardless of whether they are about to get their highest score (otherwise ds1 has been known to take another 10 minutes just to 'finish' his game... ).
Both boys also love playing on the iPad and iPhone - they know this is a treat as they are mummy's toys and she's not very good at sharing so promise of a few minutes play on the iPad can be a good bribe reward or distraction if one of them hurts themselves.

What tips would you share with other parents about how to handle gadget use with children? How do you generally view use of these gadgets? What do you think are the benefits - to parents and to children? And what do you think are the disadvantages? (to parents and children)
The children have to know they have to respect the gadgets - they are expensive and easily broken - and the fact that they don't automatically get to play on them as and when they want.
They are a useful bribery/reward tool and they can be educational - it's good to ensure that there is a mix of games so that they do play stuff that is educational as well as pure fun, because it helps to reinforce the fact that learning is not just boring stuffy classroom stuff as it was in my day [sad old gimmer smiley]
I also think it is important they are exposed to a range of technology from an early age - in this day and age so much of life interfaces with technology at so many different junctures that the more exposure to different ways of interacting with it they have, the easier it is going to be for them going through life, whether it's discussing the latest game in the playground or puzzling out how to learn to use a new piece of software or product, or even going on to design or programme new software/hardware/products in the future.
It also helps them to learn how to concentrate on something - useful at school and beyond!

disadvantages - children can become over-dependent on them or addicted to them to the exclusion of other activities - but it's up to the parent to stop this.

If your child doesn't use a gadget like this please say why - it is down to you or them?
DS1 doesn't have a DS yet despite wanting one - down to me and dh as we think he has plenty of access to gadgets to play with and we're not convinced he would look after it particularly well - he still loses lots of his things. however I have no problem with him playing on them - if we are at his cousin's house or at a friend's house for example. it's also partly because we can't afford to buy everything going - so we have a Wii and an iPad, his friend has x-box and a ds etc etc. They enjoy playing on them at each other's houses but doesn't mean that they get to have them 'just because'.

The other good thing about this is that ds if he doesn't have something will make it for himself - so he has lots of paper ds, iPhones, iPads, etc that he has made, all drawn out and then he'll draw a game on the screen and pretend play with it. which is great - both because I love watching his inventiveness (this goes for everything, not just gadgets - he also has a complete steve backshall paper animal filming / hunting kit including snake hook and abseil rope he's made for re-enacting that out, his own set of moshi monsters and pokemon that he has designed etc). And because - although he doesn't yet know it - he's actually discovered how to design, create, modify and improve lo-fi paper mock ups which is a great skill should he ever get involved in web design (amongst other things) when he is older (and is something that both dh and I do as part of our regular jobs!)

What sort of games or apps does your child play with? Do they play with other children? If so, do they socialise when on it?
All sorts of things - wii favourites are Mario kart, Phineas and Ferb and the Sports Resorts games but will happily play lots of things.
iPad/iPhone - I have loads of games on there but both boys will dip in and out of everything. ds1 loves lots of sports games, puzzles, mazes, spiderman/hero games but also maths, phonics and alphabet stuff.
DS2's favourites include Dora, colouring games, all the maths, phonics and alphabet games, listening to stories and some fab simple duplo ones. He started using iPad/iPhone at 2 and despite not being able to read he can happily whizz around on them, find the games he wants, get them started, understand them and figure it all out.

Rarely socialise on gadgets - just playing at home with each other or if a friend comes to play and they are all on the wii. they will watch each other playing on iPad/mobigo/etc sometimes. They don't have any games that are linked to other people remotely and I quite happy about that!

Does the game ever become reality? For example - do they act out the game in real life? Do they/ you integrate the game characters into other activities eg making an Angry Birds cake or playing Skylanders in the park?
Only become reality when ds1 makes his own paper prototypes to play with for when he can't play with the real things. He might play at sonic or mario with friends or end up doing kung fu things that he's seen on games but these days so many things are multi-channel that he'll of seen things on tv or in comics or on websites as well as on gadgets so it's difficult to know where the main influence is coming from or if it is the sum of all the different things.

ds2 can get a bit over exhuberant if he's been watching his brother playing on the wii (ds1 has somehow convinced ds2 that 'they' are playing if ds1 is actually playing but says things like 'look we are winning' or 'we did a great shot there' while ds2 sits and watches grinshock) and doesn't realise that if he's attacking someone as he has seen happen on the game that actually one or both of them might get hurt, but he's beginning to realise that and it's calming down, hopefully will soon be gone.

RedKites Fri 13-Jul-12 15:29:59

My not quite 2yo can locate YouTube (amongst a variety of different subfolders) on the four different Apple devices in our house. I try to view this as a clever accomplishment rather than slightly worrying! He doesn't have a strict time limit or anything, but in the week I try to limit his gadget use to just the hour or so before dinner when he's getting a bit tired.

xMumof3x Fri 13-Jul-12 16:07:08

I have a 1, 3 and 5 year old. They dont have any hand held games gadgets, I think they are far too young and OH agrees. 5 year old plays a simple game on OHs mobile probably once a week for 10 mins, but thats it. I dont see us getting them for the kids until they are at least 10, or I guess if they are under a lot of peer pressure to get them.
The kids amuse themselves either playing together, doing art things, reading/looking at books, or running in the garden. I dont really like hand held electronic games as it seems to me that they are generally used as a way to mute your child. I have been to loads of family gatherings where the kids are controlled by being given one to play with and they sit silently not interacting with anyone and its that that I find just wrong to be honest

ICutMyFootOnOccamsRazor Fri 13-Jul-12 16:14:22

I recently got given an ipad, and I am really shocked at how quickly DS, who's 4, has got addicted to it. He absolutely loves it.

I was actually discussing this with DP last night, and we agreed that we need to put some really strict limits on how long he's on it for. Generally, he only goes on in the late afternoon while I'm cooking dinner and for a little while after his shower in the evening before bed.

I've tried hard to only download apps that are in some way educational. There's a maths app that he loves at the moment, but I worry that they are overpraised (by the app) for right answers (or even for wrong answers in some games hmm) and the constant whooping and clapping from the machine drives me mad.

We've agreed that we are going to use a kitchen timer to limit him to 10 minutes before bed and 30 minutes while I'm cooking, and I think this should work well.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now